Researchers replace visibility-blocking metal with transparent, environmentally friendly compounds
Burtonsville, Md.-based New Energy Technologies, Inc. recently announced researchers have overcome a significant scientific hurdle in creating the first-of-its-kind see-through solar glass by replacing a visibility-blocking solid metal component with environmentally friendly, non-metallic, transparent compounds.
"Metal materials block visibility, and are arguably the most important hindrance to developing a commercially viable solar glass window product,” explains Meetesh V. Patel, president and CEO of New Energy Technologies, Inc. "We have successfully replaced the metal contact component in our SolarWindow with non-metallic compounds, and in so doing, achieved significantly greater transparency, a key factor in advancing our technology along the commercial product development path. The importance of this breakthrough cannot be overstated."
The production of solar-generated electricity on glass is made possible by the world's tiniest working solar cells, which have been successfully applied on glass surfaces by researchers currently developing the company’s transparent SolarWindow technology. These ultra-small solar cells measure less than one-fourth the size of a grain of rice, are fabricated using environmentally friendly materials, and successfully produce electricity, as demonstrated in a published peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy of the American Institute of Physics.